We work long and hard. In the business of client services, it’s about serving clients, retaining them and earning new ones. It’s about being available 24/7 and forecasting business challenges. Those of us who retain clients are ahead of the pack in our thinking, motivation and persistence.
We also know how to have relationships.
We are trusted. We connect the dots between the client and their challenge – real-time and all the time. We are also whole people.
Which is what makes us able to do all of the aforementioned things exceedingly well.
In an interview with NPR, Chris Rock speaks about his life, his acting career, his family and his nature as a provocateur. Yet the element upon which he is most clear is about the value of the time spent with his children.
Chris Rock loves what he does for a living. He is also wicked smart.
Chris Rock sounds nearly profound when he states that “he never wishes he was on stage when he is with his kids.” Further, why is it that people claim that they make sacrifices for their kids once they have kids?
Rock is profound. To him, the time spent with his children is a privilege.
It’s no sacrifice.
Our daughters have been home on and off this summer. They are college coeds. Their life is not with us. They endure the family meals. They roll their eyes. We often don’t get their respective plights. We have been them and we know the thought process. It is now our privilege to get to have family time for a brief time in the summer.
Then we each go on our own way.
My husband and I work long and hard. Very hard. We both serve clients. He in the legal way and me in the communications/advertising way. We have always been in several places at once (mentally.) Still, I like to think that we raised (between us) four well-adjusted girls.
That’s America in these times. That’s the Freedom that Jonathan Franzen opined about. Great American novel for him. Maybe. Maybe not. We American’s relate to family and working life and the “balance”. Franzen addressed that as one of our quintessential American challenges.
There are only 24 hours in the day. No one gets more. Those 24 give us the time to raise our offspring and earn a living.
We are charged with impacting our children’s behavior and intellect – and then launching them into society to be their own people. By the time they learn to talk, we are utterly aware that our ability to keep them “on message” – or to look and be how we desire – is not solely up to us. They are who they are. They will do what they do. The best we can offer? Decent role-modeling – and the hope that after all the “eye rolling” stops, they have actually taken a few good notes.
It’s all about the relationship. You and those whom you influence.
Whether it’s your offspring, neighbors, community or clients.
My career has included being the client for four times as long as being the agency. Recent work has been “me as the agency executive”. Yet, I still bounce back and forth – and at times, I still think like the client.
The client “me” knows that I want the agency “me” to be a trusted confidant.
“Me the whole person” has a family, a job, a community and a life. My clients want me to interpret life and predict human behavior in the manner in which a “whole person does” – as long as that does not “get in the way of meeting pressing business challenges”.
The only executive who can best advise and inform the client is the one who experiences the world.
Hard work today often means that we lose large elements of our own “whole people configuration”. I contend that this is dangerous. Once we give up portions of our own humanness, we cease to understand the wider world.
We humans are wired to have purpose.
And purpose is multi-dimensional.
Purpose comes to us when we leverage each other, give back and are contributing members of society – whether that is raising good kids, paying taxes, being passionate about social justice or being a member of the PTA.
As we think back over the course of our lives, our success will mostly be a result of the relationships that we have had. Here’s to hoping that we get a few things right and advise both our offspring and our clients with a complete picture – as whole people.
Here’s to listening to Chris Rock – who hopes to influence his own kids to make our world a better place.
- by AWSC
- posted at 12:58 pm
- August 15, 2012